Land and Soil Experimental Research 2013

The Land and Soil Experimental Research (LASER) 2013, was conducted as a joint collaboration with The World Bank (LSMS Team), the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA) and the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) in an effort to improve the quality of agricultural data, particularly with respect to land area and soil fertility measurements in Ethiopia.
The aim of the LASER study was to assess the data quality associated with a number of possible measurement methodologies associated with land area, soil quality, and crop production while piloting the use of each method and assessing the feasibility of implementation in national household surveys.

Accurate and timely crop production statistics are critical to adequate government policy responses and the availability of accurate measures are pivotal to establishing credible performance evaluation systems. However, agricultural statistics are often marred by controversy over methods and overall quality, leading to inertia at best, or entirely incorrect policy actions. Major advances in recent years in technologies and practices offer an opportunity to improve on some of the indicators commonly used to measure agricultural performance.
Considerable efforts were made in the 1960s and 1970s, primarily by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to build a body of knowledge on agricultural statistics based on sound research which, over the years, has proven invaluable to researchers and practitioners in the field of agriculture. However, little new knowledge has been generated over the past few decades and much of the available methodological outputs are now obsolete in view of the changing structure of the sector, driven by global and local trends in both the agronomics of farming and the environment.
Measuring land area and soil quality was essential in properly estimating the factors that both promoted and hindered agricultural productivity. It is also critical to assess the accuracy of the key output variable, crop production, in order to validate the methodologies used to collect harvest data as well as analyze the impact of various input measurements on yield estimates. By measuring these components using a variety of methods it was possible to identify the implications of using each and move forward with the superior methods in future household surveys.

LASER was implemented across three administrative zones of the Oromia region, namely: East Wellega, West Arsi, and Borena. In total, 1018 households were interviewed, with nearly 1800 agricultural fields selected for objective land area and soil fertility measurement.

Farmer Innovation Fund Impact Evaluation 2012

Agriculture accounts for 85 percent of employment and 46 percent of GDP in Ethiopia. As a result, development in Ethiopia depends on strengthening rural capacity through extension services and through supporting farmer associations and training centers. However, it is difficult for such development to be equal across gender because women farmers have less access to agricultural technology. Given that women account for about 60 percent of agricultural labor in Ethiopia, it is important to understand how and why they differ from men in Ethiopia’s agricultural sector. The Farmer Innovation Fund (FIF) is a component of the Rural Capacity Building Projects (RCBP) which seeks to strengthen the extension system and increase gender equality in extension services. FIF provides funds to farmer groups to implement innovative ideas developed and partially funded by the groups themselves. FIF also plans to decentralize funding from the woreda, or ward, level to the farmer training center level.

To evaluate the effectiveness of FIF, an impact evaluation study was conducted in Amhara and Tigray states, where FIF was rolled out as a randomized intervention. The impact evaluation included three surveys: a baseline, conducted in August-October 2010; a midline, carried out in April 2012; and an endline, administered in June 2013. The data collected from the surveys examined how women-only training programs effect women’s participation in agricultural and extension services and which kind of training package is the most effective in improving women’s economic empowerment. In addition, the impact evaluation studied the effects that participation in training has on intra-household allocation of resources, decision making within households, and domestic violence. Also, variables related to food consumption enabled an analysis of how training programs affect children’s nutrition.

The midline survey covered 2,492 households, a subset of the original sample of 2,675 from the baseline survey. Within each household, surveys were given to men and women. In addition, a separate survey was given to individuals who were a single head of household. Among the original 2,675 households, 869 were assigned as non-FIF households to serve as a pure control group and on the remaining households a simple lottery design was used to randomly assign 958 of the households to the treatment group and 848 households to the control group. Individuals in treatment households received FIF training, while individuals in the control households did not.

Crop improvement, adoption and impact of improved bean varieties in Sub Saharan Africa

The crop improvement research effort of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers and their national agricultural research systems (NARS) partners has had a large impact on world food production. Although bean impact has been documented in a number of past studies, the last comprehensive study of the international crop improvement effort, organized by the Standing Panel for Impact Assessment (SPIA, formerly the Impact Assessment and Evaluation Group), was based on data collected a decade ago (Evenson and Gollin, 2003 based on 1997-98 data). Important changes have occurred in the funding and conduct of the international crop improvement effort and in the general climate for agriculture in the developing world since the completion of the Evenson and Gollin study.
The level and focus of funding for research in the NARS and in the CGIAR centers have fluctuated greatly, and the role of the private sector has evolved. Yet, the importance of the CGIAR/NARS crop improvement effort in feeding the world is arguably as important today as it has been at any time in history. The steady uptake and turnover of crop varieties is fundamental to realizing a Green Revolution in Africa, and it is still important for helping achieve income growth for numerous poor rural households. But our present understanding of improved variety adoption—by crop, by location, by adopter and by source—is limited in Africa.
The data seeks to redress this anomaly, by providing a versatile database on bean variety adoption by crop, by location, by adopter and by source in sub-saharan countries. The following countries are covered: Burundi, DRCongo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Crop improvement, adoption and impact of improved bean varieties in Sub Saharan Africa

The crop improvement research effort of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers and their national agricultural research systems (NARS) partners has had a large impact on world food production. Although bean impact has been documented in a number of past studies, the last comprehensive study of the international crop improvement effort, organized by the Standing Panel for Impact Assessment (SPIA, formerly the Impact Assessment and Evaluation Group), was based on data collected a decade ago (Evenson and Gollin, 2003 based on 1997-98 data). Important changes have occurred in the funding and conduct of the international crop improvement effort and in the general climate for agriculture in the developing world since the completion of the Evenson and Gollin study.
The level and focus of funding for research in the NARS and in the CGIAR centers have fluctuated greatly, and the role of the private sector has evolved. Yet, the importance of the CGIAR/NARS crop improvement effort in feeding the world is arguably as important today as it has been at any time in history. The steady uptake and turnover of crop varieties is fundamental to realizing a Green Revolution in Africa, and it is still important for helping achieve income growth for numerous poor rural households. But our present understanding of improved variety adoption—by crop, by location, by adopter and by source—is limited in Africa.
The data seeks to redress this anomaly, by providing a versatile database on bean variety adoption by crop, by location, by adopter and by source in sub-saharan countries. The following countries are covered: Burundi, DRCongo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Farmer Innovation Fund Impact Evaluation 2010

Agriculture accounts for 85 percent of employment and 46 percent of GDP in Ethiopia. As a result, development in Ethiopia depends on strengthening rural capacity through extension services and through supporting farmer associations and training centers. However, it is difficult for such development to be equal across gender because women farmers have less access to agricultural technology. Given that women account for about 60 percent of agricultural labor in Ethiopia, it is important to understand how and why they differ from men in Ethiopia’s agricultural sector. The Farmer Innovation Fund (FIF) is a component of the Rural Capacity Building Projects (RCBP) which seeks to strengthen the extension system and increase gender equality in extension services. FIF provides funds to farmer groups to implement innovative ideas developed and partially funded by the groups themselves. FIF also plans to decentralize funding from the woreda, or ward, level to the farmer training center level.

To evaluate the effectiveness of FIF, an impact evaluation study was conducted in Amhara and Tigray states, where FIF was rolled out as a randomized intervention. The impact evaluation included three surveys: a baseline, conducted in August-October 2010; a midline, carried out in April 2012; and an endline, administered in June 2013. The data collected from the surveys examined how women-only training programs effect women’s participation in agricultural and extension services and which kind of training package is the most effective in improving women’s economic empowerment. In addition, the impact evaluation studied the effects that participation in training has on intra-household allocation of resources, decision making within households, and domestic violence. Also, variables related to food consumption enabled an analysis of how training programs affect children’s nutrition.

The baseline survey covered 2,675 households. Within each household, surveys were given to men and women. From the 2,675 households, 869 are non-FIF households that were used as a pure control group and the remaining 1,806 were FIF households. A simple lottery design was used to randomly assign half of FIF households to the treatment group and half to the control group. In addition to the FIF households, women in treatment households received FIF training, while women in the control households did not.

Contribute to the Integration of Africa RISING (AR) Activities into Coherent Project Programmes

In collaboration with AR partners, contribute to the integration of R&D activities at project level and the joint planning & implementation of activities. This may include the following:

• In collaboration with Internal Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), plan and carry out nutrient analysis of crop residues suitable as animal feed such as broad beans residues and wheat straw (led by ILRI)

• In collaboration with International Center for tropical agriculture (CIAT), follow up on value chain work on priority crops and livestock and contribute to the development of value chain activities (led by CIAT)

• In collaboration with International Water Management Institute (IWMI), explore the use of small scale irrigation facilities for the production of high value crops such as potato during off season periods (led by IWMI)

• Identification and exploitation of potential synergies between International Potato Center’s (CIP) AR component and the Humid Tropics program

• Explore opportunities with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and national partners to initiate joint system level research and development (R&D) activities.


About the project

Project title: Contribute to the integration of AR activities into coherent project programmes

Project abstract

In 2014, participatory community analyses (PCA) were undertaken by multi-disciplinary facilitation teams in 8 kebeles in the Amhara, Tigray, Oromia and SNNPR regions, producing a list of priority farming enterprises, their current bottlenecks, as well as farmer-perceived opportunities for improving income, food security and/or reducing overall risks by intensifying farm enterprises. The PCA was carried out in discussions with kebele members and local leaders, with over 250 men, women and young people. Feedback on the results will be given to the farmers and future participatory planning and implementation of activities based on the results of the PCA and feedback sessions.

Project website: http://africa-rising.net

Project start date: 01/01/2014

Project end date : 12/31/2014

Promotion of Diffused Light Storage

This dataset includes constructed diffused light storage (DLS) number.

About the project

Project title: Promotion of Diffused Light Storage

Project abstract

Storage losses including impaired quality are partly caused by harvested crops not being stored in a product specific manner. Diffused Light Storage (DLS) is a post-harvest technology which uses natural indirect light instead of low temperature to control excessive sprout growth of potato seeds, extend their storage life, reduce the associated storage losses and improve productivity of the potato crop. It is a low cost method which provides a new opportunity for farmers to preserve the quality of seed potato. Quality Declared Planting Material (QDPM) is a value added product and must be stored in DLS.

Project website: http://africa-rising.net

Project start date: 01/01/2014

Project end date : 06/01/2014

Ethiopia Alive & Thrive Baseline Survey 2010: Community

This dataset is the result of the community survey that was conducted to gather data at baseline as a part of the impact evaluation of the Alive & Thrive (A&T) interventions in Ethiopia. The broad objective of the impact evaluation in Ethiopia is to measure the impact of A&T’s community-based interventions, delivered through the government’s health extension program (HEP) platform, in the reduction of stunting and improvement of IYCF practices in two regions where the IFHP operates, namely Tigray and SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region).

A&T is a six-year initiative to facilitate change for improved infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices at scale in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam. The goal of A&T is to reduce avoidable death and disability due to suboptimal IYCF in the developing world by increasing exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) until 6 months of age and reducing stunting of children 0-24 months of age.


The Ethiopia baseline survey had two broad objectives. The first objective was to gather data on the primary impact indicators of the evaluation, prior to implementation of any A&T interventions, to establish a baseline against which changes would be measured. The second objective was to assess different factors that may influence the outcomes of interest, and thus shape the impact of the primary impact indicators. These factors were determined at five different levels: 1) child, 2) maternal/caregiver, 3) household, 4) community, 5) health care providers, 6) health system. These factors will also provide useful information to interpret the results of the impact evaluation and also signal key issues to pay attention to in the process evaluation.



The Ethiopia baseline survey used five separate questionnaires that aimed to capture elements along the program impact pathways. These tools include 1) a household questionnaire, 2) a staff questionnaire of HEWs, 3) a staff questionnaire of supervisors of HEWs, 4) a VCHP), and 5) a community questionnaire.


The community questionnaire provided information on the following: 1) general characteristics of the cluster: population, number of households’ languages, livelihood, season of food shortage, topography; 2) infrastructure: access to main road (both during dry and rainy season), electricity, access to clean water; 3) distance from the nearest major town, type of transportation used to reach this town; 4) access to the nearest market; 5) migration pattern; 6) social and food assistance, such as presence of productive safety net program, community-based nutrition program, etc.; 7) natural disaster occurring in the area during the three years before the survey; 8) availability and access to health services: health post, government hospital, private clinic, etc.; 9) availability of education facility: junior and high school, college.

The community questionnaire was administered to a group of community members to gather information on the contextual factors related to each community as well as to understand differences in community characteristics across the clusters (enumeration areas (EA)). This information at the community level is critical to control for externalities that could influence the outcome of the program.

Community Based Seed Multiplication

This data study contains field trial data on crop management, yield, farmers field school (FFS) attendance.


About the project

Project title: Decentralized System for Community-Based Seed Production and Extension Provision

Project abstract


Unavailability of quality seed of commonly grown crops was one of the priority constraints to increased agricultural productivity identified during the PCA. It is the aim of this activity to develop a system whereby this bottleneck can be addressed in a sustainable manner, as far as possible relying on private initiative and community interest rather than be dependent on extension / input support provided by BoAs line agencies and/or NGOs. The approach will work closely with the Model/Lead Farmer concept (1 to 5) which is widely promoted by the GoE with a Farmer Field School (light) approach, that promotes farmer-to-farmer extension.

Project website: http://africa-rising.net

Project start date: 01/01/2014

Project end date : 06/01/2015

Trees for Food Security Project-Local Knowledge-Tree management and impact of management on trees’ phenology in Oromiya region, Ethiopia

The research investigated the impact of management on the phenology of Acacia tortilis, Faidherbia albida, Croton macrostachyus, Dichrostachys cinerea and Ziziphus mucronata. The trees were selected, as they were dominant species, in two sites in a parkland system in Oromiya region, Ethiopia. The main purposes of this research were to elicit local knowledge about the effect of common management practices on phenology, the effect of management on tree – crop interaction and if management practices affects the tree size. Data mainly were collected by semi – structured interview and in combination with participatory research tools. This research found that pollarding, pruning and coppicing were three common management practices in both sites that farmers have a broad knowledge about them and they use from each one of these practices under the special circumstances for example they never do the pollarding when the trees are still so young. The farmers’ local knowledge suggested that the practice of pollarding was found to have a significant impact on the timing of flushing and flowering of all five species at both sites Tree management can change the tree – crop interaction. Except the managed F. albida trees, crops grow better under the other managed trees, as they have no shade and no water dropping on crops. Unmanaged F. albida has no leaf at the time of cropping but when farmers do the pollarding these trees start leaf flushing only 1 week to one month after pollarding and when they have leaves they have more light and water competition with crops so the crop productivity decrease under the managed F. albida.